By Ryan Rice
One of the worst things to do when you’re sick is to try and self-diagnose yourself. Maybe you’ve been there.
Your symptoms aren’t good, and so you head over to WebMD. You type in your symptoms and come away with a self-diagnosis of having a life-threatening disease. Now you aren’t sure if you have weeks or months to live.
When you’re sick, consulting the internet seems to only make things worse. In these moments, you don’t need to self-diagnose; you need someone to help you truly understand your symptoms—someone who can help you heal.
Often, we try to do a similar thing spiritually and emotionally—we self-diagnose and attempt to fix ourselves by ourselves. But just as is the case with our physical health, we can often benefit from professional help in these areas.
As you look forward to 2020, here are three reasons to consider counseling.
1. Your Emotional & Mental Health Matters.
Sadly, we often overlook our emotional and mental health. Leadership is stressful, and even the best leaders can succumb to the stress and overwhelming weight of all of their tasks.
It’s not that emotionally healthy leaders don’t face fear or anxiety; instead, they understand how to deal with both the positive and negative sides of their emotions.
In short, emotionally healthy leaders recognize they need help and seek the advice they need.
2. Your Family Life Matters.
One of the joys of pastoring is helping couples work through marital and communication issues. Yet, what happens when a pastor’s marriage requires help? We can go from Sunday to Sunday as if everything is OK, or we can seek help.
One of the hardest transitions for my family was having four young children while planting a church. Like many planting families, we found that starting a church from the ground-up takes its toll.
We quickly came to realize that our marriage and family health matters when church planting. One of my close pastor friends uses the term “marriage maintenance” for the ongoing care of one’s family and marriage.
As we enter 2020, does your marriage and family need some ongoing maintenance?
3. Your Ministry Longevity Matters.
“I am sure of this, that he who started a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus” (Philippians 1:6).
Christ has called us, and He’s the one who can sustain us in life and ministry. We must, however, face the reality that ministry isn’t a sprint but a marathon.
It’s a journey filled with mountains, valleys, and rugged cliffs. The cuts and bruises we receive from the journey need healing.
Sadly, many of us press on fatigued, discouraged, and overwhelmed. Is it any wonder many church leaders struggle with a lack of joy in ministry?
Our ministry longevity matters, and part of the health of our ministry is taking care of ourselves so we can continue in ministry.
Maybe you feel as if you’ve lost all joy. The passion you had earlier in the year has waned, and you’re left feeling overwhelmed.
Instead of staying there, make a plan to pursue change in 2020.
Your life, family, and ministry matter to the Lord. Instead of trying to heal yourself, look to the Lord and pursue wise counsel. Be willing to seek help now and in the coming year.
RYAN RICE, SR. (@ryanricesr) is husband to Seané, father of Ryan, Jr., Brayden, Reagen, and Bailey, and has been in ministry since 2007. He’s currently the lead pastor of Connect Church of Algiers in New Orleans, Louisiana, which they planted in 2014.